Div Com Kashmir Examines Containment Progress and Possible Threat Mitigation of “Omicron” Variant

Kashmir Divisional Commissioner (Div Com) Pandurang K. Pole today chaired a meeting to review progress in containment and possible threat mitigation of the Omicron variant in the divisional control room division Kashmir Covid-19 (DCCRK), here.

At first, Div Com insisted on further intensifying the disease surveillance network with rigorous screening and tracking of all international travelers coming from all points of entry into the Kashmir division. It has also appointed a nodal officer for the surveillance of international travelers.

The Nodal Officer has been tasked with overseeing the preparation as well as the implementation of previous directives by the administration vis-à-vis the Omicron threat.

Pole urged agents to personally visit the facilities made available for the Omicron variant. He also asked them to ensure that all passengers with a history of international travel in the last 14 days are subjected to the RTPCR test and that they remain in administrative quarantine until the test reports are available or that they can also benefit from the rapid RTPCR test in paid mode. which gives results within 3-4 hours.

The Director of the Airports Authority of India at Srinagar Airport has been tasked with advising all flight attendants / crew members to make the necessary in-flight announcements in this regard for the information of all travelers.

A “Covid-19 Assistance Service” has also been placed at Srinagar International Airport to facilitate screening and testing of international travelers for Covid-19.

At the meeting it was also decided that at least 75 samples per week will be sent for whole genome sequencing (WGS) and instructions were given to HoD Microbiology, SKIMS Soura to send these samples on an expedited basis to relevant laboratory at NCDC Delhi.

It has been stated that the priority groups for sending samples for WGS will be samples from all international travelers positive for Covid, samples from all cases of Covid death, samples from a good number of patients from Covid-19 who are admitted to tertiary care hospitals with severe Covid and have taken both vaccine doses and samples from Covid-19 patients found in clusters / super spreaders.

In addition, it was decided that training regarding RTPCR testing will be provided to all SRF / JRF / Research Associates of Scientific Research Departments (Biological Sciences) of all universities in Kashmir Division so that their services can be used in case of contingency arising from Omicron / any other variant.

Instructions were also given to the director of youth and sports services to send their physical education teacher for capacity building training for sampling so that their services can also be used in case of contingency.

Similar instructions were given to the director of health services of Kashmir to send doctors and paramedics from peripheral health facilities for capacity building training in intensive care units so that their services can also be used. in case of contingency.

The Div Com also asked Director AYUSH to start a new campaign for the distribution of immunity boosters to the general public in Kashmir so that people can benefit more from these immunity boosters.

At the meeting, it was further decided that all the chief medical officers of the Kashmir division would share the information regarding the availability of the Covid management kits with the divisional administration as soon as possible.

At the end, the DCCRK manager informed the Div Com about the ongoing vaccination campaign in the Kashmir division and informed them that 80% of the eligible population had received the 2nd dose of the Covid-19 vaccination in the division.

The meeting was attended by the divisional manager of the Kashmir Covid-19 control room, Tahir Ahmad Magray; Kashmir / SSO epidemiologist Dr Talat Jabeen and various senior public health specialists from DCCRK.

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